Bishop Michael Hoang Duc Oanh of Kontum diocese has just issued an open letter to local government questioning the motive of local government behind their relentless effort to urge Catholics in a remote village to destroy a makeshift church.

In his letter summarizing in chronological order the series of actions taken by the local communist officials since June 2015 to harass his flock in Daknu Msgr. Hoang Duc Oanh on the behalf of thousands poor Catholics in the region expresses a strong, resentful feeling of people of faith when the authorities keep ignoring the people's repeated request for the permission to build new church to provide service to an expanding Catholic population. The prelate laments that local authorities at all levels have tried all tricks to take down any house of worship the faithful trying to build regardless the size or material being used to set up the shack.

In one typical episode, on June 28, 2015, Daknu parishioners attempted to upgrade their old worship hut with corrugate roof and new columns made from tree trunks. The government immediately responded with an order to dismantle the new shack. The order was followed by bribe of alcohol to families to push for compliance. Even the priests were summoned by the People's Committee to be lectured on the need of parishioners to obey the order. None of their efforts were successful and people started to take turn guarding the new build church around the clock.

The bishop, quoting Dakto county's Correspondence No. 03/KH-UBND dated Jan 30, 2015, expressed his concern about the ripple effect on other 202 worship huts throughout Kontum should this makeshift church be brought down. He reiterated the need for respecting the law on freedom of religion as guaranteed by Vietnam Constitution. He even suggested a fine payment in exchange for the newly reconstructed house of worship to stay in existence, or even a court trial to settle the dispute once in for all.

He concluded his letter with a warning: "while people may label us as being anti-government, non-compliance with authorities, or constructing without a permit. ..I ask the officials to calm down and take a look around the area to see who are truly the ones who are sabotaging the people's confidence in the government, and the regime, pushing it closer to a total collapse?”